Over the past few weeks, no one has been more under the gun in terms of being scrutinized then Ellen DeGeneres.
To review, DeGeneres’s behavior- which fans always thought was likely to be as kind as she preaches her “be kind” mantra to be- started to be questioned when Nikkie de Jager, who is a beauty vlogger known as NikkieTutorials, spoke out about not feeling the kindness from DeGeneres. Then, in March, a tweet from Kevin T. Porter blew up. The tweet said “Right now we all need a little kindness. You know, like Ellen DeGeneres always talks about! She’s also notoriously one of the meanest people alive. Respond to this with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean & I’ll match every one w/ $2 to @LAFoodBank.” The tweet garnered a ton of attention and got many coming forward with stories about DeGeneres.
Then, in April, pay issues related to her staff amidst the coronavirus pandemic (which forced her to stop production in her studio and do it from home) arose. Then, last month, many shocking reports came out alleging a “toxic work culture” and sexual misconduct allegations.
While DeGeneres did apologize, it still brandished her image. Many thought she may end up leaving her talk show, as this would be hard to come back from.
While in the past 24 hours staff changes have been announced- and another apology has surfaced- an old tweet and video are going viral, in which DeGeneres is yet again being scrutinized for.
Staff Changes, Ellen Says I’m Sorry Again
Late yesterday, Variety reported that three of the Senior Producers on DeGeneres’s show- specifically executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman– had been “ousted.” A spokesperson for Warner Brothers confirmed to Variety that the three had “parted ways” with the franchise.
Variety noted that Leman’s lawyer, Michael Plonsker, spoke out about the “parting ways” new, stating the following: “The fact that a deeply flawed BuzzFeed article has led to the termination of an innocent man — a popular figure and a creative force behind the ‘Ellen’ show and a string of other projects produced with Ellen – is shocking. Kevin is devastated by being scapegoated and is not yet ready to comment.”
Variety also detailed that DeGeneres hosted another staff meeting via videoconference where she yet again apologized. Specifically, the following was noted as having been discussed on this video conference:
- DeGeneres claimed she was “not perfect.”
- DeGeneres claimed to be heartbroken by the allegations that had surfaced.
- DeGeneres was reportedly “emotional to the point of tears” and “apologetic.”
- It was acknowledged that “more needed to be done in terms of diversity and inclusion,” and it was discussed that everyone on their staff- including DeGeneres- would have to take part in “diversity and inclusion workshops.”
- Stephen ‘tWitch” Boss was given a promotion (being named as a co-executive producer on the show).
- DeGeneres agreed to “meet in small groups with staffers” after health concerns related to the pandemic were over.
- It was discussed that, after an investigation had been done, there was found to be “no evidence of systemic racism on the show.”
- DeGeneres agreed that “the show has at times alienated staffers and even guests by shifting timetables on short notice.” She agreed this would o longer take place.
- DeGeneres noted that she had tried to make the show run like a “well-oiled machine” but, in doing so, leaders sometimes may not have been “as sensitive to ‘human beings’ as they should have been.”
Shocking Tweet From DeGeneres
While this news sounded like a step in the right direction, DeGeneres is yet again under scrutiny for an old tweet that has surfaced.
Here is a copy of the tweet:
As can be seen, in the tweet that is dated June 5th ,2009, DeGeneres says “I made one of my employees cry like a baby on today’s show. Honestly, it felt good.”
While some on Twitter are claiming to DeGeneres’s defense and claiming these were “tears of joy” and may have zero to do with the current scandals surrounding DeGeneres, others have been less forgiving and are using it to criticize her.
Video Mocking Employees
An old clip from DeGeneres’s show entitled “Ellen Gets Into Her Staff’s Facebook!” has also started to come under scrutiny. In the clip from Aug 14, 2013, DeGeneres shares pictures from her staff’s Facebook and mocks the pictures.
These include the following:
- Showing a picture of audience producer Claudia holding 10 cent underwear and asking “Do we not pay you enough?” And “What are you doing going to China Town?”
- Showing a picture of producer Alyssa (from the control room) of Alyssa passed out in her car after The Emmy Awards the previous year. DeGeneres denotes that “Nothing shows a celebration like ‘we won’ and then you’re just passed out in the car by yourself.”
- Showing a few pictures of producer Matt (who DeGeneres claims “we had to drag out here”). These pictures included him holding bowling balls near the top of his jeans (“What were you doing there?” DeGeneres remarks as the audience laughs), a picture of how he “spent his birthday”- with a half-dressed man. DeGeneres asks “Do you want me to keep going?”
- Showing a picture of writer Lauren (who had gone out for a night of parrying with producer Matt) standing next to a man in very revealing underwear with dollar bills in his underwear. “Lauren, do you know his name?” DeGeneres asks.
DeGeneres wraps the segment by stating that “Usually when I show photos of my audience, they get iPads, but all of my staff, you’re meeting with Human Resources.”
Here is the full clip below:
While this very clearly seemed to be in jest, it’s worth noting that some of the staff members seem uncomfortable during the video and, with the recent allegations that have come to light, it makes sense why people are considering this clip in a potentially different light.
At this point, it still seems that- based on yesterday’s news- DeGeneres is planning to continue to forget forward with her show and make it a better environment to work in. While it would be likely that the majority of accusations and scandals pertaining to the show have likely been brought to light already, it’s always plausible something else could also arise, so we will be staying tuned.
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